Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kasabian are nominated for a Mercury Prize for “The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum”

2009 MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE NOMINEES - Congratulations are in order to the gentlemen in Kasabian, who were honored and recognized today with a prestigious Mercury Music Prize nomination. Each year the very best music from the UK and Ireland are nominated for album of the year. A nomination by the experts is a victory alone - out of the hundreds of worthy projects each year only a dozen are selected for final consideration. This year is no different, as Kasabian's third LP - The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, comes up against some stiff competition. Today's news comes just as we were about to unleash our review of the new Kasabian album. What follows is our own British expatriate's thoughts on the record. (Nick Parker and his family live just outside of Boston. We are lucky to have him.) Enjoy - Ryan

"I love it when a plan comes together," - George Peppard, the A-Team.

by Nick Parker

Let me get the down side out of the way early: nobody ever listened to Kasabian for their searing insights into the ways of the world. Their new album, “The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum” holds true to this fact. It is full of strange lyrical choices, which often border on the ridiculous ( - this, without the benefit of Beck's trademarked sense of irony). What about the opening lines from single “Vlad the Impaler”; “Face check, I walk this beach/ I’m frying in the heat, in the cauldron stir me/Chop down my diamond teeth I ain’t got.”

"Vlad the Impaler"
from The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

NEW MUSIC from Kasabian

An Album with Swagger - This being said, I whole-heartedly recommend “West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.” It's an impressive bit of music - an album that has real swagger. (Remember this word when you end up buying the album and think back to this review!) Kasabian may ‘talk a bit strange,’ and less than profound at times - but this band can transporting a listener to a place, to a mood - in which we all seem a bit cooler. Try playing it loud, driving in an open-top car on the highway. Try playing it whenever you want to feel a little tougher, and it won’t let you down. "West Ryder" is a reaching and genuinely effective album

Kasabian’s equally good previous two outings, Empire (2006) and Kasabian (2004), had the same confidence boosting effect on the listener. The band are, at root, a real old style rock outfit, a lot like The Who – able to live a rock and roll dream for the rest of us.

There have been some comparisons with Oasis in the press (and the two bands have toured together in the past), and I think it’s this sense of bravado that people are talking about – Musically, after all, Kasabian are far more experimental than the Gallaghers. So if you like rock music that struts, this one will be a big hit with you.

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Charbarred said...

I think Kasabian did very well with sounding like everyone else on this album.
The problem with being a tribute band is that you have to do it well and not just make a paler version of the "best of British"

Out of all the nominees, I think they deserve it the least.

Ryan Spaulding said...

I tend to agree with Nick's piece. But just consider this: being last of 12 isn't that bad when one considers the field the finalists were cut from! A hell of a lot of people out there are enjoying Kasabian's music.

Jason said...

This Kasabian album is an absolute gem - anyone saying they're trying to be everyone else hasn't actually listened to the record. At all.

The genius of this record certainly isn't in the lyrical content, but that's not the point. This band's ability to mix near-hip-hop beats with broken-sounding guitars, abrasive yet ridiculously catchy bass lines, vocal bravado and mid-to-far-eastern string arrangements is what will keep people coming back to this record for more.

Also, count Kasabian as a band that seems to have the drive to continually re-invent themselves within their genre - the first record was largely subdued trip-hop with ghostly synths, the second record was pure glam rock bombast, and the third is bizarre instrumentation tying together the product of a deranged artist and the muse to blame. It may not be for everyone, but more bands should strive to challenge themselves record after record, at the risk of alienation.